Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

A World Gone Mad

 

The Left’s Infatuation with Evil

 

Part 2

 

As virulent anti-Israel protests and anti-Semitic incitement keep Jewish college students huddled inside Hillel Houses and Chabad centers across college campuses, a nightmarish reality is hitting home to shocked Americans: Hamas and radicalism are not confined to far-away Israel and the Gaza strip; their wildly successful “front organizations” are operating at full capacity here in our own backyard.

All under the guise of “legitimate” political activism.

Congressional committees this month heard numerous testimonies from Jewish students in elite universities, who tore aside the semantic veil masking Jew-hatred and attacks on the government on campuses as “political activism.”

They described acts of intimidation, harassment, persecution and threats of violence continually directed against them by pro-Hamas and overtly anti-Semitic groups.

Talia Dror, a student at Cornel introduced herself as the child of Jewish Iranian immigrants who fled Iran after intense religious persecution. She described how in the wake of the ghastly Hamas slaughter of Oct. 7, she was horrified to see students, professors, and administrators on Cornell’s campus celebrating the brutal massacre of innocent civilians.

She spoke of vicious death threats she and other Jewish students received shortly afterward, and how they were afraid to walk around the campus because of the fear of being assaulted or killed. Jewish students who mustered the courage to walk into their classes had to step over slogans that called for deadly attacks and accused Jewish students of being genocidal for supporting Israel.

She said she felt especially vulnerable and spent sleepless nights “pondering my mortality,” because she knew that as a student leader, she was a likely target.

“In the wake of the darkest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust, administrators have excused endorsements of terrorism under the guise of free speech,” Talia Dror said. “They allowed professors to use their captive audiences to preach terrorist sympathies, and the targeting of Jewish students on their campus.

“They paved the perfect path for radicalized individuals to shift calls for the murder of Jews in Israel to calls for the elimination of Jews on campus.”

 

‘Jewish Students Don’t Need a Home, They Need a Fortress’

The lawmakers also heard from Jewish community activists and leaders, including Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union (OU), who are deeply involved with Jewish students on campuses across the country.

The speakers focused on the Jew-hatred of left-wing, anti-Semitic organizations that have quietly flourished at American universities long before Oct. 7 and the Hamas slaughter of women, children and infants.

Rabbi Hauer noted that the Orthodox Union and other Jewish organizations employ full-time educators on university campuses to provide “a Jewish home for students, a place where they can come to connect warmly to their religious peers, to celebrate the Sabbath and holidays, and strengthen Jewish identity.”

“Today, this entire community is in crisis, he said. “Jewish students on campus no longer need a home; they need a fortress.”

“On too many campuses, everywhere they go, the students and their mentors encounter protests, chants, and signs that express the goals of eliminating Israel and killing Jews, and that baselessly accuse Jews of unspeakable crimes. The intimidation comes from students and from professors, and they are tolerated if not encouraged by many university administrators,” Rabbi Hauer said.

“Decades ago, Jews were not admitted to these universities. Now they let us in and expose us to hostility and intimidation. Which situation is better?”

 

Student Groups Linked to Hamas

Noa Tishby, who served last year as Israel’s envoy for combatting anti-Semitism, told the committee members that the violent rage directed against Jewish students is coming predominantly from members of various student groups that harbor ties to terrorist organizations.

“We have exposed that this violence did not happen overnight nor is it an accident. It has been planned, engineered and incubated for decades by heavily funded, professionally orchestrated groups with close connections to terrorist organizations, like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP,” Tishby said.

“Terrorist sympathizers figured out decades ago that instead of sending money to jihadist organizations, they will target the hearts and minds of young and naïve, sometimes well-meaning American students,” Tishby told the hearing.

“They use progressive buzz words like “justice” and “freedom,” but their true intent is destroying Israel “by all means necessary,” which is their actual slogan. Meaning, anything goes including beheading babies and assaulting women.”

 

Tishby noted that for decades these groups have indoctrinated young Americans into believing “that Israel is the ultimate evil, so that when Hamas terrorists carried out their barbaric attacks, young, educated Americans would minimize, justify and even celebrate them.” See Sidebar

The witness elaborated on the origins of one of the main perpetrators of campus Jew-hate, Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP. The group was set up and is supported by individuals with well-documented records of having fundraised for terrorist organizations.

“Individuals like University of Berkley’s Hatem Bazien, who founded SJP and is also the founder of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP),” a leading grassroots organizer of the anti-Israel protests,” she said.

“Ladies and gentlemen, SJP is a hate group,” Tishby declared. “It is grooming American
college students – grooming your children – to hate Israel, hate Jews and hate America. And for years, universities stood by, watched this brainwashing take place and did nothing.”

 

‘No One Knows, No One’s Watching’

Jonathan Schanzer, the senior vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, laid out for the congressional committee troubling links between AMP and Students for Justice in Palestine, noting that AMP employs fundraisers who formerly worked for organizations that gave millions to Hamas.

“It is well-documented that more than a half-dozen individuals who previously worked for Hamas charities that the government shuttered now run American Muslims for Palestine,” Schanzer said.

He noted that U.S. authorities had taken their “eye off the ball” regarding the growth of Hamas front organizations and domestic financing of foreign terrorist groups. “No one knows, no one’s watching,” he said.

Observers have taken note of the fact that Hamas’s bloody massacres of civilians were still underway when, on Oct. 7, SJP’s Columbia University chapter issued a memo that justified the killings as “resistance” and a “historic win” for Palestinians, and urged its university chapters to express “solidarity.”

SJP’s public endorsement of the mass slaughter coming while the rampage was still in process prompted observations about the apparent coordination between Hamas and what many are calling its “front groups” in the United States.

National SJP called on its chapters to engage in conduct that supports Hamas in its call for the violent elimination of Israel and the Jewish people.

Legislators Move to Cut Funding To Schools Fueling Incitement

 

House lawmakers, galvanized by the compelling testimony of skyrocketing anti-Semitism and anti-government trends at colleges, moved to cut federal funding to schools that don’t forcefully shut down such activity. They also moved to open investigations of groups leading campus demonstrations that demonize Israel.

Some of those present had witnessed students from Columbia and George Washington University addressing the Washington DC rally, describing the eruption of anti-Semitic harassment at these schools. “At George Washington University we have seen anti-Semitic hate fests, rallies supporting murderers of Israelis, our Hillel Building broken into, our Kidnapped posters torn from inside,” testified Sabrina Soffer, a GWU student.

It’s far past time to do something about this; why would we continue to fund these universities with taxpayer dollars?” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) asked at the hearing, a proposal echoed by several colleagues. “It is beyond anything I can grasp anymore. Because I wasn’t raised this way. What in the heck is wrong with these people?”

The House approved an amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriation bill last Wednesday that would ban funding any institution that “authorizes, facilitates, provides funding for, or otherwise supports” events promoting antisemitism on campus.

The amendment by Rep. Mike Lawler, R-NY, was approved by a 373-54 vote, with 53 mostly progressive Democrats in opposition.

Committee members and witnesses pushed for stronger measures by colleges and universities against SJP and similar groups, including banning groups that promote hate speech and violence from campuses, and expelling students who harass or assault their peers.

Some committee members, slamming the silence of presidents and deans in the face of anti-Semitic incitement on their campuses, suggested that Arab funding to U.S. universities, particularly from Qatar, “was motivating their reticence.”

The concept of Muslim influence flowing from massive donations to universities from Middle East regimes was mirrored in an opinion piece in The Hill that confirmed the “partnerships” between universities and wealthy Middle East donors.

The article quoted a 2020 report by the Education Department revealing that “beginning in 2009, the flow of foreign money [to universities], especially from the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and China, rose massively” while financial and operational partnerships between universities and those governments expanded exponentially [emphasis added.]

 

Colleges Ban SJP

The anti-government hostility vented by SJP members has shocked the American people, the article said, going on to detail some of their language of incitement.

“SJP in one march explicitly called for a “communist movement here…to overthrow U.S. imperialism. Intifada until victory!”

On Oct. 21, SJP led a march of 8,000 pro-Hamas protesters at the state capitol, joined by the university’s Campus Marxists (Students for Socialist Revolution). And in a Nov. 1 post, SJP UMN boasted that “over 4,000 people marched through downtown…as war criminal Joe Biden visited the state.”

SJP and other pro-Hamas demonstrations, including at elite institutions such as Columbia, Brandeis, Harvard, Stanford, Binghamton, CUNY Law School and George Washington University, all followed a similar script, engaging in vitriolic intimidation of Jewish students, calls for the destruction of Israel and threats to the U.S. government.

Sustained pressure from wealthy alumni donors withdrawing their financial support has galvanized some universities to reign in SJP on their campuses.

On Nov. 6, Brandeis University banned SJP’s Brandeis chapter from operating on its campus, after its calls for violence against Jews and the destruction of Israel. Fordham University has long barred SJP from operating on its campus. Columbia banned SJP from its campus two weeks ago.

Brandeis President Ronald Liebowitz published an op-ed in the Boston Globe saying that student organizations that participate in antisemitism should “lose all privileges associated with affiliation at their schools.”

“Specifically, chants and social media posts calling for violence against Jews or the annihilation of the state of Israel must not be tolerated,” Liebowitz wrote.

Not all institutions summoned the moral clarity or courage to follow suit. For example, despite its clear promotion of violence and overthrow of the U.S. government, SJP of the University of Minnesota remains an officially recognized, university-supported student organization.

Legal Challenges Mount for ‘Worst Offender’ Universities

Some students, unwilling to be cheated out of an education for which they spend tens of thousands of dollars, are turning to the courts for relief.

“Schools failing to protect their students from anti-Semitic behavior on campus are finding themselves mired in legal troubles,” writes the New York Sun, quoting Kenneth Marcus of the Louis Brandeis Center for Human Rights.

The first institution to feel the backlash was New York University, hit with a groundbreaking lawsuit last week by an influential law firm representing three Jewish students at the school.

“This is the first of what is expected to be a series of lawsuits against elite universities, for allegedly allowing antisemitism to fester on its campus and “deliberately seeking to make the campus environment even more frightening for Jewish students,” reported Fox News.

“NYU is among the worst campuses for Jewish students, and NYU has long been aware of the festering Jew-hatred permeating the school,” the suit filed by Kasowitz Benson Torres based in New York City said in a press release.

Marc Kasowitz, a senior partner in the firm told Fox News that the lawsuit alleges that NYU was aware of “ongoing and disgraceful acts of anti-Jewish bigotry,” and refused to act, in clear violation of Jewish students’ Title VI civil rights. The complaint seeks remedial measures and financial penalties.

The lawsuit accused NYU’s administration of hostility and indifference to Jewish students’ complaints which have allegedly added fuel to anti-Semitism on campus.

NYU has not ‘addressed and ameliorated’ campus antisemitism, as the university committed to do three years ago. In fact, shockingly, NYU has done the opposite—it has deliberately sought to burnish its anti-Semitic credentials and make the campus environment even more hostile and frightening for Jewish students,” the lawsuit stated.

Jewish students at NYU are “regularly confronted with genocidal chants” such as “Hitler was right,” “Gas the Jews,” “Death to the Jews” and “From the river to the sea.”

“In enabling this campus antisemitism—which spews the same anti-Jewish vitriol the Nazis propagated eighty years ago—NYU has violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” the attorneys stated.

Following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks when Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and murdered and mutilated civilians, “numerous students and faculty members at NYU have enthusiastically applauded Hamas. The horrific October 7 attack lit a match to an already combustible anti-Semitic campus environment that NYU had created by greenlighting anti-Semitic activity for years,” the lawsuit said.

“Nearly every day since the attack, plaintiffs and other Jewish students have been forced to run a campus gauntlet of verbal and physical harassment, threats, and intimidation. Jewish students’ complaints are ignored or met with gas-lighting by NYU administrators,” the complaint alleged.

 

Eight More Ivy League Universities in the Crosshairs

A second partner in the law firm, Mark Ressler, told Fox News they expect to sue a number of other “worst offender” universities for the “violation of Jewish students’ civil rights,” while demanding immediate remedial changes and financial penalties.

Ressler said his firm’s investigations preceded the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks.

“We will be proving in court that the schools have long been acutely aware of the dire situation for Jewish students on the campuses. They knew about the anti-Jewish harassment, students were begging them to act, and they looked the other way. It’s an intolerable situation. And it’s a situation that can be remedied.”

Universities the firm is targeting include Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, New York University, MIT, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and UC-Berkeley.

Ressler said he intends to expose the fact that some of these universities “selectively enforce Title IV civil rights law, denying Jewish students the same treatment as other minority groups.” This is outright discrimination, he noted, and through litigation, “can and will be remedied.”

*****

When Leftwing Craziness Teams Up With the World’s Oldest Hatred

While litigation may offer some measure of relief for Jewish students, some say that many universities have been too deeply radicalized by left-wing dogma to implement significant change.

“Before the bodies of the massacred had even been identified, people poured into the streets of our capital cities to celebrate the slaughter,” wrote former NY Times editor Bari Weiss. “In Sydney, crowds gathered at the Sydney Opera House cheering “gas the Jews.” People rejoiced in the streets of Berlin and London and Toronto and New York.”

“When antisemitism moves from the shameful fringe into the public square, it is an early warning system—a sign that the society itself is breaking down. That it is dying,” the author wrote.

When young people around the world throw their support not behind the innocent victims of Hamas, but behind barbaric mass murderers, one doesn’t need a university degree to know civilization is in deep crisis.

How did such moral derangement overtake society, specifically in a country that for centuries marched under the banner of human dignity, human rights, freedom from tyranny?  The shift in worldview was spawned in the 1970s, experts say, and nurtured over decades by leftwing ideologues.

It received its biggest boost in the lofty bastions of higher education where young minds were easily molded by professors pushing a new worldview. These iconoclasts sought to supplant traditional norms of right and wrong with a doctrine preaching a new way to understand history and current events: by dividing humanity into two camps; the poor oppressed who are identified as good, and the rich and powerful, branded as bad.

Using this yardstick to judge all human dynamics sheds light on how social justice crusaders of the radical left can embrace authoritarian regimes as fellow travelers, when the sharply divergent values of the two groups should make them sworn ideological enemies.

Notwithstanding their abysmal human rights record, including oppression of women and other social abuses, authoritarian societies in the Middle East are automatically deemed good because they are poor and “oppressed” by a richer neighbor. Victimhood in itself is proof of virtue.

Through the one-dimensional “lens of power,” those who support the “victims” are equally noble and get a pass—and as we see today, even approval—for the most heinous crimes.

In this deranged scenario, Israel, as the dominant power in the region, inhabits the role of cruel aggressor, hated and scorned as the epitome of evil by social justice warriors.

It is not hard to see how leftwing craziness, flowing down from liberal universities and promoted by a leftwing media, has teamed up with the ancient plague of anti-Semitism to produce the horror show we are witnessing today.

 

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